Athletes join together to support WADA's Say No! To Doping campaign

by Merryn Sherwood on 10 Aug, 2011 01:08 • Español

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Say No To Doping

The biggest stars of ITU Triathlon have a message and now they are ready to share it, after the official launch of WADA’s Say NO! To Doping campaign video in London.

A year out from the London 2012 Olympic Games, the new campaign is an initiative of WADA for athletes to show their support for Anti-Doping.

The initiative was first launched in partnership with the International Ice Hockey Federation and saw players complete the warm up with green pucks.

The ITU has picked lunchboxes, shoelaces and swim caps to carry the message in triathlon. The lunchboxes were first launched in Sydney, where some of the world’s greatest triathletes gathered together to create the campaign video, and in London last weekend a host of athletes used the swim caps and shoelaces in their warm-up for the 2012 Olympic preview races.

The video features athletes from eight different countries, Alistair Brownlee, Helen Jenkins, Javier Gomez, Mariko Adachi, Laurent Vidal, Jessica Harrison, Kris Gemmell, Emma Moffatt, Paula Findlay, Andrea Hewitt, Henrik de Villiers and Bevan Docherty pledging their support, across five different languages English, Spanish, French, Japanese and Afrikaans, to Say No! to Doping.

And as well as pledging their support, the world’s best also had more of a message to share. Alistair Brownlee, who went on to win in stunning style in London, said health and fairness were paramount to him in triathlon.

“I think sport to me is all about number one, being healthy and then playing fairly and racing on a fair playing field. I think the health thing is probably the biggest thing actually, I do sport every day because I like to be healthy, I enjoy the health, it’s just the worry of taking drugs for myself and everyone else’s health, that is a big big thing,” Brownlee said. “And then of course playing fairly as well is important, you want to be racing people you feel are on the same playing field as you and that’s what is important.”

Helen Jenkins, who was the women’s winner in London, agreed.

“I think it’s really important, we all want to be competing on a fair playing field, you want to that the people that beat you or the people that you beat are clean, and that our sport is a fair sport,” Jenkins said.

Two-time ITU World Champion Emma Moffatt also believed that health was an important part of the Anti-Doping message.

“I think it’s important for everyone, I don’t see why poisoning your body for a better performance is a better outcome, I think you have to think about your body when you are competing now and in the future and I don’t think drugs are good for either of those things, I think just being yourself, being healthy and putting in the hard training to get the results is the best outcome,” Moffatt said.

France’s Laurent Vidal, who qualified for the 2012 Olympics with a seventh placed finish in London, also pledged his support for the campaign.

“Every day I train and believe I can be a world champion or Olympic champion without taking anything and I think it is something really important in sport. Tomorrow, if I was discovering it wasn’t possible to be the best in the world drug free, then for sure, triathlon wouldn’t be the same for me.”

The ITU Anti-doping department was established with the goal of committing substantial time and resources to curb doping in triathlon.  This year’s anti-doping protocols include: intelligent testing for ITU events and athletes that is also more efficient, a commitment from National Federations to test and report their testing, and comprehensive education programme. That includes actively engaging member federations through regular anti-doping content, helping everyone involved in triathlon understand the importance of a clean sport for not only participants’ health and fair results, but for the sports legacy.

For more on the ITU’s commitment to anti doping, please click here.

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